Delhi: How more hotels & restaurants are trying to unlock

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More Delhi hotels and restaurants are gearing up to reopen amid Unlock 2.0. After facing huge losses during the lockdown due to the pandemic, the hotels and restaurants of Delhi are slowly getting back to action. Worried about their future, restaurant owners are still working on the modalities for reopening.

Santosh Jindal, president, Restaurant Association, told India Today TV, “Restaurants have started training their staff about maintaining hygiene, and following social distancing. Sanitisation is going to be a part of everyday cleaning process. We cannot afford to ignore the health and safety of staff and guests.”

“However, we expect business to move slowly (30-40%) to begin with. We think that the government will look into the difficulties faced by sectors F and B. Once the government gives us permission, we will open in a week’s time,” he added. He also said that under Unlock 2.0, the government has not given permission to restaurants with bars to open, however, permission has been given to restaurants only up to 9.30 pm as curfew starts at 10 pm.

These places are waiting for the government’s permission to reopen. “We are hopeful that in Unlock 3.0, we will be allowed to open bars,” Jindal added.

Booze still bar-red

Many question that if a person can drink soft drink at restaurant, or at home, what difference will it make if he drinks alcohol at a restaurant. They want the government to allow bars to operate. The government has already allowed liquor shops to open, then why not allow bars, ask many. “Our over 70% staff has already gone to their villages and we think only 50% of the staff will return, that too by September or October,” Jindal said.

Amit Gupta, member, executive committee, New Delhi Traders Association, told India Today TV, “In Unlock 2.0, restaurant owners can operate dine-ins and takeaways, but with bars not being allowed to open, the CP outlets won’t have customers. When restaurants open they start incurring heavy expenditure w.r.t. staff cost, air conditioning, electricity, etc., even if revenues are not coming as there is hardly 5-10% occupancy. Also, the number of seating has decreased due to social distancing norms.”

“People are scared and are not going out to eat that much, so financially, it’s not yet viable for restaurants to open up. At the most they can operate only for takeaways and deliveries,” he added. Overall, it is a very bad situation for restaurant owners to be in the business due to low or no income.

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